BOWMANVILLE, ON- When a wreck in the late-stages of Sunset Speedway’s Canadian Late Model Nationals in September left his Great Canadian RV No. 29 nearly destroyed, it wasn’t the thought of a complete rebuild that most upset former Peterborough Speedway champion Bryan Sudsbury. Instead, it was the prospect of missing out on the biggest event of the season – the lauded Autumn Colours Classic. Now, after a bevy of late-nights and a lot of assistance from multi-time ‘Classic’ winner Dan McHattie, Sudsbury is ready to formulate a strategy for Thanksgiving Weekend.
“Have you ever been told really bad news where it almost makes your ears ring because you don’t want to believe it. That’s the way I felt once we finally got the car home and got it up on the hoist,” explains Sudsbury when asked about the evenings that immediately followed his incident at Sunset on September 9th.
“I had a list as long as my arm of things that needed to be replaced,” continues ‘Party Time’. “The trailing arm bracket ripped right out of the frame and took the driveshaft with it. It ended up damaging the rear end, the tranny and a bunch of other odds and ends. By the time we were done the list, it seemed like a guarantee that we were going to miss ‘the Classic'”
The damage sustained at Sunset was just the latest hurdle in what has largely been a forgettable season for Sudsbury’s family-owned effort, as a myriad of mechanical difficulties kept Sudsbury from contending for a second career Late Model championship.
“We finally figured this car out towards the end of the season, but 2015 was far from what I had hoped for,” shrugs the personable veteran. “We seemed to wrestle with this thing every other night with everything from shock problems to motor issues. All year long, we worked and we battled and we tried to put this thing back together again when things would happen, because we wanted to be ready for Autumn Colours. So, when that looked like it was over and done with, I think we all felt like we had been punched in the stomach”
While the car is on its way to being ready for next weekend’s three-day event, Sudsbury admits repairing the badly damaged ride was a long process.
“It got to the point where I couldn’t look at it without feeling angry,” laughs the Bowmanville, ON driver. “But, lucky for me, Dan [McHattie] couldn’t look at it without devising a plan to get it put back together again. Piece by piece, we got a little bit closer to having this thing back together every week. Finally, a week ago, he looked at me in the shop and said ‘There’s no way you’re sitting on the sidelines for this’. And that’s when I knew we were full steam ahead on this thing”
Sudsbury will enter the weekend with a provisional starting spot earned through August’s ‘Chase for the Colours’ race at Peterborough, and readily agrees that an appearance at the event will serve as the bright spot of his 2015 season.
“We’ve got a guaranteed starting spot, after our finish at the Chase for the Colours. So, we’re not going to start any farther back than the seventh row,” says Sudsbury. “Our strategy is just to show up and go for it. Two weeks ago I thought I’d be there in the grandstands, so having the opportunity to take the green is a huge bonus to me”
“For anyone that’s ever been to ‘the Classic’, they’ll understand when I say it’s the highlight of the entire season,” continues the fan favourite. “When we were building this car, I was thinking about what it would feel like winning that event more than I was thinking about winning another championship. After the year we’ve had, it might be a bit of a stretch to win this thing, but I’d be jumping out of my suit if we could park it on the podium.”
For more information on Peterborough Speedway’s Autumn Colours Classic, visit www.PeterboroughSpeedway.com.
Fans can follow ‘Party Time’ on Twitter @SudsburyRacing or on Facebook via the brand new Bryan Sudsbury Racing page.
Sudsbury’s Port City by McHattie entry carries sponsorship from Deighton Design, Alma Mechanical, Darrel’s Die Casts, RVL Masonry, Deighton, Cochrane Automotive, Brandon’s Landscapes, Great Canadian RV, Flash Fire Coatings, RB Blast Services Inc.and Castrol.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)